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Acetic acid is a weak acid with structural formula CH3COOH. It is the principal flavor component of vinegar, which contains 5-18% acetic acid by weight.
Acetic acid is commonly produced as a waste product by certain bacteria, notably the Acetobacter genus and Clostridium acetobutylicum.
In 1847 the German chemist Hermann Kolbe synthesised acetic acid for the first time by inorganic reagents.
While acetic acid is official IUPAC nomenclature, it can be called by other names:
- ethanoic acid
- acetyl hydroxide
- hydrogen acetate
- methanecarboxylic acid